Auris: \ awe-ris \ “From Latin comes the word ‘Aurum’ meaning gold.”
And what a golden 2 days it was. Toyota have developed a brand new vehicle, which is totally resigned “from the inside out”, keeping the driver & passengers in mind. The bridged centre console and raised gear platform have increased space and created a “airplane” feel to the interior. The exterior has also been remodelled, keeping in line with the new distinctive Toyota look, with a wrap around nose and headlamps.
The Toyota Auris will be geared towards to the 30-something crowd, who prefer a sporty looking car, with loads of power. Safety is of utmost importance, and the car has received a full 5 star N-Cap rating, keeping in line with European safety standards. Toyota have also also started breaking away from the traditional media advertising, by setting up an interactive website, AurisCity.co.za and a blog centred around the development of the car.
Read on for the whole story behind our 2 day Auris experience…
The whole launch experience was amazing, and this was the first time in South Africa that a group of bloggers, (myself, Mike Stopforth and Carl Nienaber), were invited to join in the media launch of a new vehicle. We met at Durban Airport on Monday and were whisked away to the Gateway 1on1 conference centre, for the launch. An awesome surprise for us, was that while introducing all the chief engineers, and designers of the car, from Japan, a special mention was made about us, the bloggers, and the fact that it was the first time we had been included in such an event. We sat through a very interesting presentation about the car and its designs. There were a couple of questions and answers sessions about the car and the specs. By that time we were itching to get into one the cars and put it through it’s paces.
We were given the 1.8 litre RX and got ourselves off up the north coast to Ballito. We made a quick round trip, and felt the power that this machine put out. We all had a quick turn, and agreed that the car definitely had loads of power. The one thing, that we all seemed to wonder about, was the fact that there is no remote control for the onboard computer. If you want to find out your consumption you need to push a button on the actual dash, and can’t control it from your steering wheel, as is most common in modern vehicles. Perhaps it was a small design flaw. Not to much of a train smash though.
We arrived back at the Royal-Palm hotel, our abode for the night. And abode it was. A humongous one. One that Mike could not stop laughing at from the shock. This was paradise. We had been given the penthouse suites of this 5 star hotel, so you can imagine what we were in for. 3 On-suite bedrooms, with dining room, lounge, flat screen tv’s, huge bathrooms. I really wish I could say it was home from home, but that’s my dream home. Amazing. We all quickly freshened up, and powdered the noses, and headed back down to the Dish Restaurant for some pre dinner drinks and snacks. The rest of the evening was spent drinking loads of red wine, talking, explaining about blogging and much socialising.
A 6:30 wake up call, and down to breakfast to fill the tummy and cooler bags, and get the show on the road. 500km of driving, from Durban right through to Oribi Gorge, near Port Shepstone, for some lovely lunch and views. It was great seeing some parts of our country, where it all seems virtually untouched. We left Durban, via Pietermaritzburg, to Bulwer, where we did some car swopping. Our first car we had was the 2litre D-4D. WOW !!. This was definitely the pick of the day, and had so much power and vooma. The car still wanted to pull away from you in 6th, and was clearly evident when Carl archived that. Officer Ndlovo earned the Camperdown Municipality an extra R350, thanks to Carl’s impeccable driving skill. We have since however learnt that you apparently simply need to just flash your “I’m a motoring journalist” business card, and you walk away scot free. The joys of motoring journalism.
The day proceeded on towards the Oribi Gorge Nature reserve for a much anticipated lunch, in our red 1.6 litre RS. The car also had a little bit of extra power, and was always willing to give a little extra. The lunch was fantastic, and we claimed our 15 minutes of fame, by being interviewed for the Toyota Magazine.
After a quick lunch, we all hopped in the shiny blue 1.4 litre RS base model. Even though it was the base model, it still had all the bells and whistles you would find in higher spec cars. The blue bomb got us back to Durban international in record time, and we were car no. 2 to pull up.
All in all, it was a totally awesome experience, and the car is amazing. The entry level 1.4 RT starts at R156 500, and the top of the range 2.0 RX D-4D, comes in at R229 900, which is less than the top of the range golf 5. Being a Toyota fan, (Both my cars are Toyota’s) I honestly think that they have come up with a great product. All round the car is a great package, and I’m sure it will be a hit amongst current and new car owners.
A big thanks to the guys & girls from Toyota for the awesome time we had, as well as Mike & Angus from Cerebra for the opportunity to be part of this experience. I have also put a whole bunch of photos from the trip on my Flickr account – here
1.4RT R156 500
1.4RS R169 600
1.6RT 169 900
1.6RS R181 800
1.6 RS MMT R186 800
1.8 RS R190 500
1.8 RX R208 100
2.0 RS D-4D R213 900
2.0 RX D-4D R229 900